Throne

The word “throne” is used only once on the entire Together Through Life CD, and that is in the opening stanza of “Beyond Here Lies Nothin.”  For anyone who has seen the video of this song (see link below) this should not come as a surprise.  Certainly, the authority, violence, and power that a throne conveys are present in the male character in this film.

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The word “throne” does not appear once in the so-called trilogy consisting of Modern Times, Love and Theft, and Time Out of Mind.

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Dylan did not use the word “throne” on any studio album of original songs in the 1990′s.

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I’m still in the 80′s in my search for “throne,” but I sneaked into the 70′s remembering the last lines of “When He Returns”:

Of every earthly plan that be known to man, He is unconcerned
He’s got plans of His own to set up His throne
When He returns

The rhymes with “thrown” are internal, but LOOK: they are the same words used to rhyme with “thrown” in the first stanza of “Beyond Here Lies Nothing”:

I love you pretty baby
You’re the only love I’ve ever known
Just as long as you stay with me
The whole world is my throne
Beyond here lies nothin’
Nothin’ we can call our own

Now there’s a skipping reel of rhyme if I’ve ever seen one!

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“Throne” does not appear on any original Bob Dylan song in the 1980′s.
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The word “throne” is found in the second stanza of “No Time to Think” off the 1978 Street Legal album, Bob’s last secular one as many said about it in the 80′s. It is used as an internal rhyme with the word “alone,” which ends the line, only to have the rhyme extend to the beginning of the next line with “unknown.” Those three words linked by rhyme summon Shakespeare’s Henry V for me, especially in the scene when Hal wanders from camp to camp hooded (as Dylan was often found in the 1990′s) taking the temperature of his soldiers’ feelings towards him and their attitude towards the battle that awaits them at daybreak. “A little touch of Harry in the night,” the chorus calls his presence among his men, before “the scene must to the battle fly” (indeed not much “time to think” the night before a war). I love where Bobby sends my mind from a little touch of the words he unites with rhyme.
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If “Abandoned Love” “speaks volumes about . . . a man’s (Dylan’s?) deepest feelings” during the time of his failed marriage with a woman (Sara Lownds?), as Robert Shelton suggests in No Direction Home, the word “throne” used at the end of the song certainly puts her on the pedestal the man wants her to come down from:

One more time at midnight, near the wall
Take off your heavy makeup and your shawl
Won’t you descend from the throne, from where you sit?
Let me feel your love one more time before I abandon it

After all, he’s no leader in this song, a follower instead (“Baby, let me follow you down,” “in the jingle-jangle morning I’ll come following you”?), of the children:

Wherever the children go I’ll follow them

“throne” doesn’t get the royal treatment of rhyme in this song; neither does the woman fated to be abandoned not followed.  The painful yearning on this song is heartfelt.   The Other End, 1975:

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“Tin Angel” uses “throne” with the tables turned: man returns home
To a deserted mansion and a desolate throne
Servant said: “Boss, the lady’s gone
She left this morning just ‘fore dawn.”

But the man is not a king, merely a boss to the women later referred to as a queen

His face was hard and caked with sweat
His arms ached and his hands were wet
“You’re a murderous queen and a bloody wife
If you don’t mind, I’ll have the knife”

A throne left alone, with a John Webster/Seneca pile of bodies left on stage by the end. A throne never seems to bode well in Dylan.

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